Getting a new puppy was without a doubt the best decision in my life. A dog, whether a puppy or fully grown, will bring much joy to your household and your life.
However, the hardest and most critical part of integrating your new addition into your home is potty training them.
This seven-day guide will get you started. During training, keep in mind that genuinely housebreaking your dog can take up to six months of patience, repetition, and consistency. That said, in just seven days, you can lay down some valuable groundwork and reap visible results quite quickly. To see the definitive guide on How to Potty Train a Dog in & Days Just Click Here. You will not be disappointed.
How to Potty Train a Dog in 7 Days. When do you Need to Start potty training?
The ideal time to potty train your dog is between 12-16 weeks old. By this age, your puppy will have just enough control over their bladder or bowel movements to be able to learn to “hold it” if needed.
If your puppy is older than 16 weeks and has developed unfavorable potty habits already, it is still possible to train them using our method. The results may take a few days (or weeks) longer to yield.
Establish a regular feeding timetable that you can stick to. Consistent eating, with no food given between meals, is a crucial part of establishing a consistent potty schedule.
Young puppies need to be fed 3 or 4 small meals a day to help with their digestion and to keep energy levels consistent. You should never regulate water. Always provide as much water as your dog wants. Remember that water should be changed regularly – it should be fresh and clean.
Take your pup outside based on a consistent and regular schedule for him to do his business. Always take him out first thing as well as before you go to bed at night.
Additionally, if your puppy is a few months old, he should be taken out hourly during the daytime. He also needs to be taken out at these times:
- After his feeds
- When he wakes from a nap
- After playing
- After he has finished chewing on a toy/bone
Be aware that puppies tend to defecate more often than adult dogs, perhaps up to five times per day.
Make going outside to relieve himself a rewarding and enjoyable experience to instill this behavior. After your pup has been to the toilet, give him a reward/treat and loads of verbal praise. Additionally, you could reward good behavior with a walk outdoors.
This is the time to drive home the outdoor toilet spot where he is supposed to relieve himself. When a dog learns that this spot is his “potty spot,” automatically he will want to pee when you take him to this area. Use the same place every time to really reinforce this message.
Day 4 is about you really tuning into the warning signs that your dog needs to do his business. Pay particular attention to your dog when you see changes in behavior. Be especially observant when he gets up from a lie-down or wanders into a different area of your house.
By understanding your dog’s signals, you will be able to take him outside before any accidents can occur. You will also be able to dodge unnecessary trips outdoors when he doesn’t need to toilet. Signs that your puppy needs to “go” will include:
- Scratching at the door
By now, your puppy will be having fewer accidents indoors. Approach accidents correctly. Never punish your pup. Should you catch him relieving himself in your home, clap loudly to get his attention and let him know he is doing something wrong. Then, immediately shuffle him outside by leading him gently by the collar or calling his name. When he has finished doing his business, respond with praise, and a small reward to reinforce good behavior.
Don’t clean up any of your dog’s mess with ammonia-based cleaners, as the smell of these will attract him back to that spot to relieve himself there again. Use an enzymatic cleaner instead which will minimize odors.
Use this day as a check on status, also making sure you maintain consistency of training. A puppy should be making significant progress at this stage of the game.
If your puppy can’t seem to get the hang of potty training and is continuously having accidents in the home, consider taking him to the vet to rule out medical conditions. It is possible that there is a physical issue, like a bladder infection, that’s impeding his ability to control his bladder. If this is the case, you will want to get him medical intervention quickly.
Your puppy should now be doing his business outside, in his spot and offering you clear signals when he needs to relieve himself. Continue with the regular feeding schedule and frequent trips out to the toilet location to reinforce his learned behaviors. This will also work to decrease any chance of a setback.
If your dog has trouble with any one aspect of potty training, make sure you focus in on those areas and reinforce good behaviors when he gets it right.
Increase the Time Between Bathroom Breaks
This is the time when you can start to increase the period between your puppy’s outdoor calls. A rule of thumb to determine how long your puppy can control his bladder for is given in the equation below:
Time Puppy can control his bladder for (in hours) = Age of pup (in months) + 1
Example: if your dog is 4 months old, he should be able to “hold it” for up to 5 hours. That said, your dog will still need potty breaks shortly after meals and first thing in the morning.
House Training Your Puppy with a Crate (Crate prices on Amazon)
Depending on your chosen training schedule and your puppy’s temperament, you could opt to use a crate to potty train. If you are using a crate, you will find that it will help you keep a close eye on your dog, so that you are more able to recognize his warning signals when he needs to relieve himself. A crate can also teach your pup that he needs to control his bladder until you open the crate and take him outside.
If you do use this method, make sure that the crate is large enough to let your pup move around comfortably. But, it should not be so big that your puppy can use a corner of it as his designated relieving spot.
With this method, you should still take your puppy outside frequently for bathroom breaks. If you need to use a crate for more than two-hour periods, ensure that your dog has constant access to clean and freshwater.
Eventually, your dog may be able to stay in the crate and hold their bladder for the entire length of your workday. Really, for the first year, you or someone else should be at home during the day to ensure he has regular breaks from the crate.
Using Puppy Pads
Ideally, your puppy should learn that outside the house is the only acceptable place to relieve himself. Unfortunately, your lifestyle or schedule probably will not allow you to take your dog outside multiple times per day. For these situations, puppy pads or newspaper training is an option.
Puppy pads will give your dog the option of relieving himself in an acceptable spot within your home. The training method is similar to teaching him to eliminate outside. If your dog presents warning signs that he has to potty (or starts to potty indoors), lead him to the puppy pad immediately. When he has successfully used the puppy pad, reinforce the good behavior, again with rewards and praise.
Once your dog is able to control their bladder for longer periods, re-train him to relieve himself outside instead of using the puppy pad.
It is important to remember that every dog is different. Some may take longer to learn these good habits than others. You may be lucky, and your pup may have perfect manners after a few days.
However, he may also take months to really get the hang of it, especially if he already has bad habits before he joined your family. Persistence and patience are vital to successful potty training. Remember that and your efforts will prove fruitful in the long run.